Originally Posted by Rob Toronto
There has been a tsunami warning and you've got 1 hour to save your boat...
First, a bit of perspective: if you took off in a commercial
jet from Tokyo, it would take you ten hours to get to San Francisco
; however, the tsunami that arrived on Friday got here nine hours after leaving the coast of Japan
Because the recent Tsunami hit the USA west coast
in the morning hours, we only knew it was coming two hours before it was due to arrive. That gave us twice as much time to make a decision than the hypothetical situation the OP allows. We decided to monitor
the effect the tsunami had on Hawaii
to try to determine what course of action to take. Those results were inconclusive, and the news media were not giving the type of detail we would have wanted on the effects it had on the islands.
I have an agreed-value policy on my boat, and it's worth more to me sunk than floating. In the time it would have taken that wave to get here from Hawaii
, I would not have been able to get the boat into water
deeper than 30 meters, even traveling at WOT 9 knots.
For us, the course of action was a no-brainer. Unacceptable risk. Breakfast on the hill, well above the tsunami line. The bacon was crispy.
After the time passed when the tsunami was forecast
to arrive, nothing significant had happened. At that point I went in to work to hold office hours, and my wife returned to the boat. An hour later, the first surge hit. I was glad she was there to take care of the boat. The second surge surprised us however, and sank an 18' runabout attached to a neighbor's boat directly across the fairway from us.
One thing I know, having the recent experience under my belt: the armchair quarterbacking I've been reading on the net is completely out of touch. Even here on CF, there was a thread where multiple members were berating the bystanders shown in Santa Cruz
news footage for not helping rescue
boats. It turns out that most of the people standing up the hill watching the boats being destroyed were actually the boat owners. Many of these people were liveaboards who were were complying with police orders to evacuate the docks. And yet, right here on this forum we had members excoriating them for not lending a hand. Shame on those who felt compelled to pass judgment.
I'm hearing a lot of bravado now, three days after the waves have subsided. The armchair sailors are thumping their chests and telling us that they'd have risked everything to get their boats out to sea.
Right. Even if your boat was a SeaRay?
Think again. That tsunami was moving faster than a commercial
jetliner travels with the jetstream at its back. And you want to face it?